My heart is burdened.
As I look at each of the Chibok girls found in this banner photo, I am reminded of the trauma that each young girl has gone through. Every dream tarnished, and every nightmare made alive. Continue reading
I am asking for urgent prayer for a young woman I know of. She attempted suicide this morning by overdosing on pills, but was found in time and is now in a psych ward.
She and her family go to a church I know of in a town close to mine. Sadly, this type of thing is not uncommon. Pastor Andrew Stoecklein committed suicide in August of 2018, and I also know of a young man from a church I went to who took his life as well a few years ago. What causes these people to want to end their lives?
I cannot sit here and say that I fully know. What I do know is this: mental illness is real, and so is spiritual warfare. As you pray today for this young lady, please pray for those Christians in general who are struggling with mental illness and battles from the enemy. Pray that the stigma of mental illness in Christian circles would be removed, and that those struggling with such deep sorrow and thoughts of suicide would find help and rest in the arms of Christ, in the arms of fellow brothers and sisters, and in the help of medical professionals.
Annalee, ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY
It’s that time of year again. Comical ghosts and witches hang from people’s trees, and corn mazes are celebrating Halloween by putting scary components into it.
Who knew that fear could make such money! Billions upon billions of dollars are spent a year to make us jump and scream, as we watch movies and videos that fuel our deepest nightmares. Why such an odd relationship with fear? We love it, but we hate it.
In the real world—past everything Halloween has to offer—there is much to be afraid of. Fearof.net reports the top 100 phobia’s list, with arachnophobia (fear of spiders) coming up first. Outside of our personal phobias, we fear death, destruction, and rejection. What are we to do, as Christians, when the pangs of fear come and anxiety causes us complete distress?
Psalm 56:3 gives us the antidote for ANY fear we might be facing.
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” (Psalm 56:3, ESV)
You may be saying, “Annalee, you don’t understand the amount or complexity of my anxiety. This just seems like an easy answer, a band aid to put on my problems. I need much more than this!” Friend, I want to encourage and be honest with you: I know the problem of anxiety well. I have been dealing with social anxiety and emetophobia, the fear of throwing up, for a little over 5 months now. At any time, my thoughts turn towards a plethora of anxiety-inducing thoughts, including the fear of throwing up in front of people, and the idea of throwing up itself. It has caused me extreme distress, not only mentally, but emotionally and physically, too. As if this were not enough, I am taking a Public Speaking class where these fears seem to have a much higher chance in my brain of actually happening!
Today, on the eve of having to give a group presentation, I want to say that I, too, know what you are going through—and that Jesus wants to give us truths to hold on to when the enemy and our own minds try to lie to us. I encourage you to place these verses in your arsenal when attacked by the enemy with fear!
In the panic of anxiety, remember who you are, and whose you are. Your Father in Heaven is faithful; Jesus will never leave your side, and the Holy Spirit is your Helper (Deuteronomy 7:9; Matthew 28:20; John 14:26). Things get scary, and terrifying even, I know. But Christ has gotten you this far, hasn’t He? May God comfort and still our racing hearts as He reminds us that 1) He is with us, and 2) He will help us, just as He always has.
Do you know Jesus?
“…And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:20, ESV)
These were some of Jesus’ last words before He ascended up to heaven. He promised this one very profound thing, because He knew it is what people need most: First, His Salvation, and two, the knowledge of His near Presence.
Where are you at today with Jesus? Is He a myth to you? Are you confused about why He came and died in the first place? Learn more about Jesus here.
Please pray for…
Thank you for your prayers.
In another heartbreaking story, it was reported by the Christian Post that Pastor Andrew Stoecklein of Inland Hills megachurch committed suicide over this past weekend after battling depression and anxiety. This man of God, whose life was dedicated to sharing Jesus with the world, was undergoing extreme emotional pain that only a select group of people, if any at all, knew about.
My heart breaks at the news of this; it seems to not make any sense. But before we all start speculating and giving our two cents about his passing and what led to it, let us not forget that there are hundreds, if not thousands of people grieving his loss right now– especially his wife, 3 beautiful sons, and other family and friends. They need prayer and support right now more than other people’s speculations.
Let us also not forget that mental illness can affect anyone. If you are feeling depressed, isolated, and/or suicidal, please reach out for help. The suicide hotline number is 1-800-273-8255, and it is open 24/7. Please, please please, as a person who has lost a best friend to suicide, take it from me: there is always something to live for.
Please join with me in prayer and support this week for those closest to Pastor Stoecklein, as well as for the elders of the church, as they move forward in the wake of such tragedy.